Sunderland manager Jack Ross has given a brutally honest assessment of Benji Kimpioka’s contract situation. Ross claims that Kimpioka is not entitled to any first-team guarantees as he stalls over a new contract, The Chronicle reports.
Ross was speaking out in response to claims from Kimpioka’s agent. Sunderland have offered the young striker a new contract extension but he has yet to sign it. Kimpioka’s agent wants his client to be promised some first-team action if he commits his future to the club.
Ross on Kimpioka
But Ross will not cave in following these demands. He said (via The Chronicle): “I would like Benji to stay at the club, I think he has potential, the club has offered him a good contract, we feel, for a player that to date has some potential but has not achieved anything in his career so far.
“You become a first-team player if you play in the first-team regularly – that’s how I would describe a first-team player. Once you prove yourself good enough to play in the first team regularly, then you become a first-team player, so for anybody to be told that you are a first-team player before that is…different.”
Ross does not hold back offering his opinion on the 19-year-old’s contract situation. But he is right. At his age, he is not entitled to any action in the first-team and he has not exactly proven he should be a regular when called upon.
Kimpioka needs to bide his time and Sunderland is the right environment for him. Despite what his agent says, Kimpioka will become better with game time. The Sweden U21 international only needs to look at fellow countryman Joel Asoro to see why leaving Sunderland is not his best option.